Canada’s flood protection gap is $2.9B: Swiss Re

It's the 11th highest gap in the world

At $2.9 billion, Canada’s property protection gap for floods is the 11th highest in the world, a Swiss Re study found.

The study examines the gap between how much economic damage a 200-year flood could cause and how much of that loss would be insured.

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Some provinces are at more risk of overall loss than others, but there is a protection gap in every location. According to Swiss Re, British Columbia could face an economic loss of $5.5 billion in a 200-year flood but is only insured for $2.6 billion. Alberta could lose $4.3 billion, while its insured losses are just $1.8 billion. The largest flood loss potential is in Ontario which is highly populated and could see predicted economic loss of $6.4 billion with insured loss $3.9 billion less than that ($2.5 billion).

Swiss Re attributes some of this low coverage to insurers lacking good prediction tools for flood risk and thus hard to cover appropriately. It also finds that the current flood plans may be due to the high costs and lack of clear communication explaining why this insurance is necessary.

“A collaborative effort between all key stakeholders to assess and share the risk and execute pre-and post-event mitigation strategies is – we believe – the solution to community resilience,” Swiss Re stated.

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